Chamber works to save Jennersville hospital

PENN TOWNSHIP – Fearing that the closure of the Jennersville Hospital will not only hurt the economy of southern Chester County, but put hardship on thousands of people who need quality medical care close to their homes, an effort is made to call on its owners to keep it open.

“We have to stomp and bang our fists on the counter and say you have to know you are hurting us,” said Cheryl Kuhn, president of the Southern Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry. “It’s critically important. This will have an impact on our local economy and will have a severe impact on businesses wishing to locate in this region. They will reconsider if there is no community hospital here.

Kuhn worked with Gary Smith, president and CEO of the Chester County Economic Development Board, to determine if a group of investors can be found to prevent the hospital from closing. Reading-based Tower Health owns the hospital and announced earlier this year that it will close the facility on December 31, impacting 293 employees.

Kuhn said leaving so many without prompt access to health care is a matter of life and death. Those living in southern Chester County will need to travel to Christiana Hospital in Delaware, Chester County Hospital, or Brandywine Hospital – all over a 40-minute drive away – for inpatient care. from January. And the future of Brandywine Hospital, also owned and operated by Tower Health, is uncertain as Tower Health officials have said they are looking for alternatives to shutting down the hospital.

Tower Health said the closure of the 52-bed Jennersville hospital was due to financial underperformance. Tower wrote off $ 292.9 million of the value of its suburban Philadelphia hospitals – including the Jennersville Hospital – which it acquired from Community Health Systems in 2017 for $ 423 million.

Dave Plumber said the closure of the Jennersville hospital would have a real impact on his wife, who needs medical procedures and has to be there often.

“It’s baffling,” said Plummer, 64. “We don’t know what we’re going to do. It’s scary when the hospital is only 5 minutes away, and now it’s going to take us over half an hour. You’d think Penn Medicine would take the hospital control Jennersville is a nice facility.

Vanells Ross, who lives in the Township of East Nottingham, just a 9-minute drive from Jennersville Hospital, is a mother of 9-year-old twins and is battling breast cancer. She is often undergoing treatment – sometimes three times a week – for an MRI, CT scan or echocardiogram. She has two jobs and said the trip to the hospital in Phoenixville – nearly two hours round trip – would impact her family.

“I am limited to Tower Health for all of my radiology,” she said. “If Tower closes Jennersville, I have to go to Phoenixville or Brandywine. If they take that out of this community, it will be so damaging. The folks in Jennersville are so friendly, and I know I won’t have this in other hospitals when I will have to wait 3 hours in the ER.

Ross said she recently had to take one of her sons to the Jennersville emergency room and was spoiled by the quality and speed of service.

“My son must have had three staples in his head and it took 45 minutes,” she said. “We were in and out more quickly than I would have needed to get to another hospital. “

Kuhn said she knows time is running out and plans to bring together a group of people, including local lawmakers, to travel to Reading to discuss with leaders the possibility of changing their decision.

“I would like them to see the faces of the people in the community who they are turning their backs on,” she said. “They need to see our faces. They need to see the faces of the people it affects.

For those interested, Kuhn can be contacted at [email protected]

As it stands, Jennersville will cease providing inpatient services starting December 31 at noon.

Jennersville will accept emergency admissions until 11:50 p.m. on December 31. At that time, EMS staff will be responsible for transporting patients to other emergency rooms in the area. The emergency department will remain open to walk-in patients until the closing date.

Jennersville will continue to cease operations after the closure. Patients will be able to obtain their medical records through Tower Health.

As of January 1, 2022, Jennersville will no longer accept direct or elective admission.

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